Police believed Whitfield gunned down his father, Brian and his stepmother, Charisma, inside their home on West Taylor Street around 11:30 p.m. Saturday -- Charisma's 31st birthday.
Whitfield allegedly called police to report that two people had been shot. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the couple dead.
Whitfield was taken into custody at the couple's home. According to police, Whitfield's 17-year-old friend, Powers, and 10-year-old brother were also in the home at the time of the shooting, but were not hurt. Whitfield and Powers have both been charged with two counts of murder.
Police said Whitfield lived with his mother in Virginia, but was in North Carolina visiting his father.
There is no word yet on what may have sparked the shooting, but officials said after Whitfield was arrested, he asked if North Carolina had a death penalty. He also asked if he could get a nice meal and place to stay at jail, and commented on how he liked the police chief's car.
"At this time ... we're still investigating," Whitakers Police Chief Chris Wagstaff said. "I've never witnessed something of this magnitude where a young man allegedly released such violence on his parents."
Neighbors told ABC11 they never noticed any tension in the family.
"Everybody's shocked because it was a very sudden thing. They appeared to be a very happy family," neighbor Charice Rosser said.
Brian worked as a nurse, and Charisma was from the Phillipines.
Both Whitfield and Powers now have court appointed attornies and will appear again in court on Aug. 2.